MADRID:Chelsea striker Didier Drogba would still like to leave the English Premiership side to join Spanish giants Real Madrid next season, sports daily Marca reported on Friday.
The 29-year-old Ivory Coast star's agents contacted Real officials last week once again to express the player's interest and this time the defending Spanish champions were more receptive, the paper said without citing sources.
In previous contacts between the player and the club, as reported by the Spanish and British press, Real Madrid reacted coolly because of Drogba's age and Chelsea's asking price of over 40 million euros (60 million US dollars).
But according to Marca, the striker's insistence on joining Real had swayed the club's officials who are nonetheless willing to pay Chelsea only 20 million euros for the player.
Drogba, who is under contract with Chelsea until 2010, has expressed his desire to leave the club on several occasions since Portuguese coach Jose Mourinho left Stamford Bridge in September.
He will play for Ivory Coast on Sunday in an African Nations Cup quarter-final match against Guinea.